~ Meet Alexander Ryan
What a week I had! I went to the doctor for my OB appointment on Thursday, January 6. I was dilated about 2cm and having semi-regular cramping. I was very soft and his head was engaged. My doctor said I should go to the hospital about 4 or 5pm that day to get checked once more. If I was progressing, then this was it and it was time; otherwise this wasn't it.
We finished up the appointment with an ultrasound. After viewing for just a few moments, she said, "Well when you go to the hospital, you'll be staying there. His fluid is very low." So I asked if this was it--was he coming tonight?! She said yes, we will induce unless your body is actually in labor.
I called my mom and Steven's mom to tell them to get here. They live in Tennessee and Kentucky so they had a bit of a drive ahead of them. I went home and completed packing and getting things ready. We got to the hospital about 3:30 because I had a bad headache. At my OB appointment, my blood pressure was high and I was worried that the headache was worse and it might be a higher blood pressure.
I got all hooked up and was ready to get the party started. I was checked and they said I wasn't dilated anymore. I assume that the induction would begin shortly. Well, nope! It turns out they decided to start me in the morning. I kinda flipped out because I was already hooked up and ready to go. I was there, might as well do it. The doctor said I could get started on a slow drip of oxytocin that night. So they started it around 6pm or so.
After all afternoon of steady cramping and being uncomfortable, they checked me that evening around 8pm and I was still 2. The next morning they started the heavy drip of oxytocin at 8am. I kept having steady contractions all day. Early that afternoon they checked me and I was 2-3, but I was more effaced and baby was more engaged. The family left at some point (sorry, all the times are running together) for dinner. While they were gone I made it to 3-4cm and so the doc said she'd break my water.
When she tried I was in a ton of pain. She noted that there was a band of scar tissue in my cervix that she'd have to rip. (I had an LEEP procedure done a few years ago.) She decided it would be best to have the epidural first seeing as usually labor progresses quickly after the water breaks and because of the scar tissue. Well I got the epidural and she broke my water. It hurt like heck, though... I'm a wuss I guess. There wasn't much of a gush because the fluid was so low.
Well, the rest of the night I felt pretty good and contractions were steady. My left leg swelled up and was completely numb. About 10pm or so they checked me and I was just at 4 but I was completely effaced and baby's head was very far down. They told me it would be several hours until I would be ready to push. I told my family to go home and I'd call when I was about 6 or 7 cm. At this point I was beginning to feel quite a few contractions so the anesthesiologist gave me an extra shot of stuff, even though I was pushing my button. It calmed the sharp pains for a bit, but after the family left, the pains kept getting worse.
I was beginning to cry and freak out because the number one thing in my birth plan was to NOT be tied down. Well, being induced kinda throws out your plan. I had these circulation things on my calves, IV in one arm, BP cuff on another and my belly had the monitors. I was feeling very claustrophobic and it didn't help that my left leg and butt cheek were about 500 lbs and I couldn't move it for the life of me. I couldn't rest because of all this so they gave me two Zanex pills. I finally calmed down, but the pain was getting much worse. They were telling me that I'd still feel pressure with an epidural, but I assured them this was truly sharp and horrible contractions.
Again I was given another boost of epidural drugs because of the pain. At some point I was 6cm so I text my husband. I told them I wasn't sure if this was it, but that they should know to be ready. Well, about an hour later I was texting NOW NOW NOW!!!!! They checked me again and I was about 9cm so they started setting stuff up. I was crying because everyone was gone and I was alone. The moms were here to see the birth yet they were at home. And my daughter was going to be there, too, to help.
Now we were told that because of all the people I had with me that if anything went wrong, they would all have to leave. They made me test run with pushes and they stopped me only for a moment because they noticed his heart rate dropped drastically. They told me that I needed to get him out NOW and I was freaking out and told them I couldn't because no one had arrived yet. I told them I lived like 10 minutes away and they said that's too long. They made me push hard several times. At one point I couldn't push because I was nearly hysterical with tears. They told me to look at the monitor. When I did they pointed out that his heart rate was very low and he was in distress and he needed out this moment. They said it's not about anyone else other than him at this point. I pushed and they used vacuum. He was out quickly but his cord was around his neck.
They showed him to me and took him away. (Again that was not part of the plan, but I understand why they did it.) Just as they quickly wiped him down and made sure he was ok, I was able to hold him. At that point, the family walked in and I cried again. I was apologizing to everyone that they missed it all.
It turns out that during this whole ordeal, my doctor (another doc was there to deliver but she was overseeing) took my camera and took video and photos of all of it. And, she met the family out the door before they came in to explain what happened and tell them she got it on camera for them. I will have to find a way to thank her for that. The moment of my son's birth was captured when I thought it would only be a memory I would have to share.
Alexander Ryan was born at 1:58am on Saturday, January 8th. He weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. He has a head full of hair and looks just like my daughter, though she was bald till about 3 years old.
I only had two stitches needed (which I felt and that wasn't fun!). I felt everything come out and now I have more sympathy for natural birthers . . . though my leg was dead the to world the whole time. LOL
I'm glad he's here. We are home and getting used to life. He sleeps a LOT and doesn't take much milk. I'm trying to breastfeed, but I currently don't even have colostrum so after 'breastfeeding', I give him a bottle and he drinks about 1/2-3/4 oz. When he doesn't latch to me, I have to pump. I'm praying my milk comes in soon so he can be fully breastfed.
He left the hospital with a touch of jaundice but it wasn't enough to keep him there.
Thank you for reading this journal over the past eight months.